Cleaning your picture and photo frames

So you’ve just purchased a fantastic new frame but you want to ensure that it says in tip top condition throughout its lifetime. It’s important to know the right way to clean your frames to ensure that they are not damaged or adversely affected in the process. Here are some tips to maintain and clean your frames safely and effectively.

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The easiest and most straight forward way to clean your frames is by dusting them with a feather duster. If you do this regularly, the frames will usually only collect surface dust meaning it’ll be easy to remove. However, if you leave the frames to get dusty over a longer period of time then more serious dusting will required in and around the frame. Dusting should be done lightly across the frames.

You can clean your frames by taking a damp cloth and pressing it over the frame gently. Avoid spraying chemicals, cleaning agents and water on the frame directly. Doing this may likely cause the liquids to drip off and even seep into the frame, ruining the photo/artwork. For a deeper clean open up the frame if possible and remove the contents to avoid damaging it. Then you will be able to easily clean the inside of the frame without much hassle.

It can be very frustrating to see a bit of dirt or a few specs on the inside of your frame. So when taking the frame apart you could also take the opportunity to clean the glazing. If the glazing is glass then spray some glass cleaning solution onto the centre and clean it off with a paper towel. If it is an acrylic glazing then use a soap and water solution to clean it and have a soft cloth ready to wash and dry it. A paper towel may scratch the acrylic. Remember not to fully dry the glazing and let the air do most of the work. Otherwise static charge will result and cause pieces of lint and other particles to appear inside.

You may need to clean with a different technique depending on whether you have a wooden or metal frame. Wooden frames are generally more delicate so should be carefully cleaned with a damp cloth. Wooden furniture polish can then be used to finish it off and make it look like brand new! Metal frames are a bit more robust, so if it is especially dirty you may clean the frame with a bit of soap solution, wipe it off and then apply the relevant polish to its finish. However, if you have a gilded frame then only clean occasionally to avoid accelerated wear.

With these tips you should be able to keep your frames looking like new for as long as possible. If there is physical damage on your frames over the years then see a professional to fix the issues rather than doing it yourself and risking more damage.